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November 20, 2003

  • Auditors were denied access to 10 of 25 records sought, or 40 percent of the time.

  • Auditors were asked who they were in 11 of 25 instances, or 44 percent of the time.

  • Auditors were asked why they wanted the record in 7 of 25 instances, or 28 percent of the time.

  • Auditors were asked who they worked for in 5 of 25 instances, or 20 percent of the time.

    Under Maryland law, a person requesting a record does not have to say who they are, why they want the record or who they work for.

    In one case, the employee told the auditor that his simply wanting the public record was not a good enough reason for her to provide it.

  • Auditors were required to file a written Public Information Act request in 15 of the 25 instances, or 60 percent of the time.


Of the 10 denials, 5 were outright and in 5 cases the auditors are still trying to secure the desired record.

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In one MVA case, the employee was ready to provide the record until he saw it was the driving record of a state official, then he denied the request.

In a majority of the instances where records were not immediately provided, auditors had to make multiple follow-up visits or calls and oftentimes got shuffled from one person to another without receiving any positive results.

With the exception of the state Department of Assessments and Taxation, which has the information available online, no public agency provided the information in electronic format and no public agency provided a database of the information. In many cases, employees were more willing to provide a single record than a series of records.

Auditors who visited offices in person or who sought commonly requested records more often received the records they asked for than auditors who asked for less-sought-after records.

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